CQSW (Coventry), BA (Coventry), MA (Warwick), PhD (Leicester)
My interests are closely related to my social work practice and have been focused in five main areas:
I am especially interested in the policy context in which social work exists and how the political philosophy of welfare shapes the services people receive.
My first social work experience was working with older people in Kent during the time that community care was being developed as a response to wide scale dissatisfaction with residential care for older people. I then moved to the Midlands where I was involved in child care and had a developmental role in the very early stages of youth justice and the multi-agency approach to dealing with young service users in trouble with the law.
After completing my CQSW I joined the probation service in the West Midlands where I was involved in the full range of duties the service undertook, but concentrated on community development roles with young people and latterly was a member of a special projects team that set up and ran new high tariff community based alternatives to imprisonment. These involved engaging young people in examining the consequences of their actions in groups and working with the local community to offer opportunities for personal development and restorative activities.
I then moved to youth justice in Northamptonshire as a senior practitioner and was closely involved in the development of remand fostering. During this time I became much more interested in young people's rights, especially their right to participate in all aspects of decision making and service delivery. I moved away from practice to academic study to examine this area in more depth. This led ultimately to the completion of my PhD which examined young people's participation as a group in policy making, with a particular focus on the power they have in the policy process.
Whilst completing my studies I worked in residential settings with offenders and as a research fellow in community regeneration. Since 2001 I have been teaching student social workers and other students interested in all aspects of social welfare provision. I have also been able to contribute to local level policy development by completing research projects that have evaluated young people's experience of service delivery, out of hours health provision and organisational studies of small voluntary organisations seeking to re-focus their activities.
I arrived in York in October 2004 and look forward to developing my teaching and research interests here.
Gunn, R. and Durkin, C. (2010) (Eds) Social entrepreneurship: A skills approach. Bristol: Policy Press.
Gunn, R., Durkin, C., Singh, G. and Brown, J. (2008) Social entrepreneurship in the social policy curriculum. Social Enterprise Journal. 4(1), 74-80.
Gunn, R. (2008) The power to shape decisions? An exploration of young people’s power in participation. Health and Social Care in the Community. 16(3), May 2008, 253-261
Buchanan, I. and Gunn, R. (2007) The interpretation of human rights in English social work: An exploration in the context of services for children and parents with learning difficulties. Ethics and Social Welfare. 1(2), July 2007, 147-162.
Gunn, R. (2005) Young People’s participation in social services policy making. Research, Policy and Planning. 23(3), 127-137.